A Happy Ending
A week before I shot this photo, this young Galapagos Fur Seal - who became known as Emma -was found on the beach in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal. This town is not only the Capital of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, but it is also home to a large population of Galapagos Fur Seals. The locals are fond of them and have built the town's waterfront district to accomidate these unusual neighbors. Galapagos Fur Seal pups are notoriously playful, but when Emma found a plastic ring, disgarded from a paint can, the toybecame a noose. It got stuck around her neck and, as she grew, the plastic ring, which could not expand, cut deeply into her neck, and when the man found her on the beach, she was barely able to breathe. Fortunately several Veterinarians were in town, working a project for the non-profit "Animal Balance", and they were able to remove the ring. Emma required many stiches to close the extreme laceration. It was an unusual procedure, and all those involved were thrilled to find Emma on the rocks a week later. The Vets checked her wound and this little lady passed with flying colors. Despite her forlorn look, Emma returned to the sea in good health. Pollution causes so many deaths in and around the seas all over the world, that it felt great to be a part of this Happy Ending.